Saturday, August 29, 2020


by Tamara Madison

I’m fucking sick of hearing
this fucking word
Every time you turn around
someone’s saying “fuck”
or “fucking.” It’s so
fucked up.

I’m not saying fuck
isn’t a good word. After all,
it begins with a fine labio-dental
fricative, perfect for expressing scorn
followed by a low, disgusted vowel,
and ends with a sound so definite,
powerful and angry it explodes
before it can even find its voice.

But when people throw it around
like a torn candy wrapper,
a used Kleenex, a piece of chewing gum
that’s bound to stick to someone’s shoe,
that’s when it pisses me off.
Those fuckers are using it all up.

Someday when some asshole
cuts me off on the freeway
and I have to drive all the way
to the next exit and get back on
going the other direction –
if there’s even a fucking onramp
to do it there – where it’s bumper-
to-bumper because every fool
has to look at the mangled fender
and the pissed-off sidelined
drivers – I’m gonna fucking need it.

An OnGBandC original poem.

Tamara Madison is the author of the chapbook "The Belly Remembers" as well as two full-length volumes of poetry, "Wild Domestic" and "Moraine" (in which this poem appears), all published by Pearl Editions. Her work has appeared in numerous literary journals in the U.S. and abroad, including Pearl, Chiron Review, Nerve Cowboy, Linnets Wings, The Writer's Almanac and others. She is thrilled to have recently retired from teaching English and French in a Los Angeles high school.